Thom Thumb

1949 Dodge Coronet Radio Tone Control

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Hello all.  I have a '49 Coronet which never had a radio.  Picked one up from a salvage yard.  It's the seven button model 803 in the Owner's Manual.  The radio came from a '49 Plymouth, and says Model 807 on the bottom.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how to change the tone control setting between Voice/Music/Mello.  The Owner's Manual calls out  a bezel on the volume knob, but I don't see one.  The internet has been no help.  The manual is no help.  Photo's I've looked at don't show sufficient detail, so I'm stuck.  Have I lost my buttons?  Help?IMG_0707.thumb.JPG.52bdabaa343bf80d5a575ec7a00a6a76.JPG

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Take the cover off the radio and look inside.  Should be able to trace the mechanism that makes the change.

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This ring controls the tone settings.  It connects to an outer shaft on the volume control shaft.  If it doesn't turn, it may be frozen and you will need to lube it to free it up.

IMG_0707.thumb.JPG.52bdabaa343bf80d5a575ec7a00a6a76.jpg

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Thank you 61Polara and TerryB. 

 

When I turn the ring, it draws down on the threaded stem until it engages the outer lock nut.  Is that threaded stem supposed to turn and control the tone selector?  I'll try lubing the shaft tomorrow.

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I think someone installed not enough of the correct knobs on your radio.

You need a special dial trim knob to operate (engage)  the tone shaft on the left side of your radio...#4 in red is it on one of my pictures..

Two are used on the radio..the Rt tone control wheel is different than the left tone control wheel as the rt control wheel spins loose and does nothing.

The #1 in red chrome nut cover does nothing but cover the mounting nut. It is shown from the back side...

Dodge Plymouth Radio Knobs.JPG

Radio 5.jpg

Radio 4.jpg

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THANK YOU c49er!  Now I know what I need to look for.  I just removed the volume knob (#2), and found the tone control shaft.  A little judicious application of the small pliers indicates that the tone control shaft does turn, and is connected to the display. 

 

Now I have an embarrassing admission to make, too.  I saw your radio for sale on eBay, and decided to buy one from an area used parts yard.  Price was the same, but there was no shipping.  Penny smart, pound foolish, I guess. 

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On 12/13/2018 at 11:42 AM, Thom Thumb said:

THANK YOU c49er!  Now I know what I need to look for.  I just removed the volume knob (#2), and found the tone control shaft.  A little judicious application of the small pliers indicates that the tone control shaft does turn, and is connected to the display. 

 

Now I have an embarrassing admission to make, too.  I saw your radio for sale on eBay, and decided to buy one from an area used parts yard.  Price was the same, but there was no shipping.  Penny smart, pound foolish, I guess. 

 

 

OK, please educate me - now that you know how the tone control works, what does it do?  Is it sorta like an equalizer?

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Heck, what do I know?  I'm hearing impaired.  Not sure about equalizer, but I can tell you there's only one speaker.  The settings are Mello, Music, and Voice.  My only goal is to get the radio to work as it did in 1949 or so.  I'll be able to hear enough to know the radio is on, but my ears aren't critical enough to know what the sound quality is.  I can identify static or voices or music, but that's about it.  This is a tube type radio we're talking about here, and it's likely not too sophisticated.  But it does have something called a vibrator built in, and I kind of suspect the tone control affects the vibrator frequency.  I'm told the vibrator creates a noticeable hum, and I'm guessing if that hum can be controlled, it might cancel out noise from a weak signal.

 

But that's just a guess, which will get you a cup of coffee at SpeedWay if you throw in two bucks.

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Basically what the tone adjustment does in these old radios is to vary the sound between treble and bass. Back in my day we would set it to the deepest bass sound but the older folks would set it for a more mellow tone.   

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Question:  Why does the radio hum when I tune it to my favorite music station?

 

 

Answer:  Because it doesn’t know the words to the song that’s playing!

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I have seen tone controls on old radios labelled "Mello - Speech". You could give it more bass when listening to music, more treble when listening to a drama, comedy or news program.

 

You may be surprised how well that old radio works, if you put it back to original condition. Way better than any modern AM radio at pulling in distant stations and with a nicer tone.

 

The vibrator is used to turn 6 volt DC into 400 volt AC which is needed for certain tubes. It has a reed inside which is where the humming or  buzzing comes from, when they get a bit old and worn. The hum is not obtrusive as a rule. If it bothers you, you can make or buy a solid state vibrator which is completely silent.

 

The tubes are quite durable and if they do go, are pretty easy and cheap to replace. There are still a lot of NOS tubes around. The big thing is the capacitors. The old wax paper caps have usually given up the ghost by now. They can be replaced with modern mylar caps of the same value. They cost from 10 cents to a buck apiece.  To take the radio apart, clean, test, replace parts is a fiddly time consuming job but not very difficult if you know something about electronics, radio, and how to solder. They are very similar to a typical home radio tube set except for the vibrator.

 

If you don't want to tackle it yourself you may find an old time radio hobbyist in your area to help out. Or there are places that will rebuild your radio, for a price. They can be found online.

 

DO NOT get sucked into paying $600 to have someone shove a $5 Chinese transistor radio into your casing. These are very inferior to the original radio not to mention a big ripoff.

 

If you want more than just AM radio, there are devices that give you a lot more choices, that play thru your original AM radio. Here is one.

 

https://redirad.com/

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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